Great Lake Trail Waihaha Shuttle & Boat Package
Includes the essential shuttle and boat transport to ride the Waihaha to Waihora section. Bike hire is an optional extra.
$100 - $140 per person
- One-way shuttle
- Boat transfer / water taxi
- All the best information
See below for details, options & extras such as bike hire
Trail grades are based on technical difficulty only.
About this Package
Experience the beauty of the lake and surrounding native bush, all the while discovering the volcanic origins of this stunning environment. On the Great Lake Trail you are riding the rim of a giant crater lake formed by a super volcano. Admire the lakeside cliffs and remote beaches, and on a guided experience you will learn some of the Maori and European history that helped shape the towns, villages, and countryside into what we see today.
Lake Taupo’s amazing volcanic history and rich cultural story provides a fascinating insight to the region that is best displayed and explained from the trail. Ask us about guided options for this tour.
The Great Lake Trail is one of the 22 Great Rides of the NZ Cycle Trail. It is 100% purpose built singletrack that crosses ridges an valleys around Lake Taupo’s western bay. The Great Lake Trail has been rated as “the best Grade 3 trail in New Zealand”. It has 3 major sections: the Waihaha & Waihora section, the Orakau to Kinloch section (via Kawakawa Bay), and the Whakaipo To Kinloch (W2K) section. This Grade 3 trail is challenging in its climbs but is generally not a very technical ride.
Minimum 2 people for this package
(Contact us if you a single rider, we may have others going)
$140 per person if you book 2 people
$135 per person if you book 3 people
$130 per person if you book 4 or 5 people
$110 per person if you book 6 to 7 people
$100 per person if you book 8 to 11 people
These are the inclusions of the base package. Also see the optional extras below and don’t hesitate to ask us about further customisation.
We will meet you in Kinloch where you can park your car and we will load you bike onto our high quality purpose built bike trailer. You will then be shuttled to the Waihaha Bridge Car Park where our staff will unload bikes and provide a briefing. You will then ride this 30km section of the Great Lake Trail to the beach at Waihora Bay.
NOTE: Round trip transport (two-way shuttles) from Taupo town are available as an optional extra. We will pick up from any Taupo accommodation providers. Also, if you book round trip transport we will give you an Emergency Locator Beacon to carry during your ride.
The Waihaha to Waihora Section ends at a remote beach with no road access. You will board a boat (pre-arranged by Tread Routes) and be taken back to Kinloch where you parked your car. The boat transfer itself is $70 per person (and is included in the above price).
Great service and accurate information
We know that communication is important in planing a cycling adventure. We also know you need accurate information about the trail itself. We are riders and guides so know the trail and the logistics intimately. We can answer any of your questions.
Round trip transport / Two-way shuttles
We will pick you up from your Taupo accommodation to shuttle you to the start of the trail each day. (the Taupo accommodation is not included in the tour, we like to leave this open for your preferences). At the end of your ride each day our shuttle will take you back to your accommodation. Also, if you book round trip transport we will give you an Emergency Locator Beacon to carry during your ride.
Round trip transport is $40 – $80 extra per person (based on a group of 2)
Emergency Locator Beacon
We prioritise safety on our tours and make use of great technology. Each group will be given a beacon at the start of the tour. Only available with round trip transport.
Hard tail (front suspension only) $70 for one day.
High-end full suspension mountain bikes $120 for one day.
E-bikes (electric mountain bikes) are available. E hard tails $120 per day, E full suspension $150 per day.
Our bikes are high quality and are serviced between every use. They come standard with flat pedals, but we can fit Shimano SPD pedals for you on request
Having a guide is a great way to maximise the enjoyment of the ride. Our guides will not only show riders the way, they will also brief riders on upcoming trail segments. A guide can explain some of the history and geography of the area. Our guides know the emergency access points and where the hazardous parts of the trail are. Contact us for details and pricing.
8:00am or 9:30 am shuttle pick up times. We allow the standard of 4.5hrs between the shuttle drop off at boat pick up so you can comfortably complete the 30km ride.
9:30 Shuttle pick up in Kinloch (14 Mata Place)
10:15 Drop off at the Waihaha Bridge Car Park, and briefing
10:30 Commence the 30km ride to Waihora Bay
3:00 Boat pick up at Waihora Bay
3:30 Boat drop off at Kawakawa Bay or Kinloch
Tread Routes will pick you up in Kinloch in the morning and shuttle you 45mins to starting point of the Great Lake Trail at Waihaha. After a briefing the trail takes you along the dramatic Waihaha river gorge before following the lakeside cliffs to the beach at the remote untouched Waihora Bay. You will then board a boat for the 25min trip across the lake back to Kinloch where you will be picked by the shuttle for the return trip to Taupo.
Throughout the day on the Great Lake Trail you will experience beautiful native bush as the trail crosses the ridges and valleys of the iconic Western Bay. Lake Taupo’s amazing volcanic history and rich cultural story provides a fascinating insight to the region that is best displayed and explained from the trail.
Ask us about guided options for this package.
This package does not include any accommodation as it is a day trip.
If you would like some recommendations for accommodation in Kinloch or Taupo, please contact us.
A moderate to high fitness level is required for this trail.
The shortest day is 30km and the longest day is either 34km (or 43km (if you add the Headland loop on Day 1). You should expect to be on your bike for around 3-5hrs per day (this includes a little stopped/rest time on the trail).
You will need some mountain biking experience to safely complete this tour.
The Great Lake Trail is entirely Grade 3 single track. If you are not sure what a Grade 3 trail is like, please visit our Trail Grades page. If you have no mountain biking or off-road cycling experience, this trail is not the best choice. In that case, contact us for suggestions and advise.
The group size for this ride can be anywhere from 2 to 10 people.
Singles will have to join other to make up the minimum numbers. Ask us whether we have others going on the dates you are interested in.
On self-guided trips you are not expected to ride with the other people booked on the trip. It is designed for “at your own pace” riding. You may simply like to catch up with the other riders and share some tales from the trail at the beach or at your accommodation.
On fully guided exclusive tours (where you have a guide dedicated to your group), the guide will informally structure the ride so the group can stay together as much as possible. After all, cycling is a social activity, and we help to ensure it’s fun for everyone.
Can the Taupo accommodation be included?
Yes. We can book it for you at one of our preferred providers, but it will subject to a booking fee that is the equivalent of 15% of the Taupo accommodation price.
Can you recommend any accommodation providers in Taupo?
Yes. The Taupo Millennium Hotel, Beech Tree Suites Motel, and Huka Falls Resort are all great options. Taupo also has a great many holiday houses for rent that may suit your group. Check out www.bookabach.co.nz or www.holidayhouses.co.nz.
Is the boat ride mandatory?
Yes. The Waihaha-Wahora Section of the trail (what is usually Day 2 of the tour) ends at a remote beach with no road access, so the only way out is by boat.
Can I hire a bike from you?
Yes. We have hard tail and full suspension models available and will help you choose the right bike for the tour. We can also supply E-bikes. All our bikes are high quality and very well maintained.
Should I hire a guide?
It largely depends on your level of cycling experience and what you aim to get out of the ride. There are a lot of different elements packed into our guiding service: safety management, historical and geographical interpretation, riding skills tips, mechanical skills, emergency management, and more. We know how to help you get the most out of the ride. Contact us for more info.